Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Mother's Spirit

"It is a universal rule that the more excited or naughty the children are, the more quiet and clear the mother should be. A mother who realizes this for the first time, and works with herself until she is free from all excited and strained resistance, discovers that it is through her care for her children that she herself has learned how to live. Blessed are the children who have such a mother, and blessed is the mother of those children!

It is resistance--resistance to the naughtiness or disobedience in the child that not only hurts and tires the mother, but interferes with the best growth of the child.

'What!' a mother may say, 'should I want my child to be naughty? What a dreadful thing!'

No, we should not want our children to be naughty, but we should be willing that they should be. We should drop resistance to their naughtiness, for that will give us clear, quiet minds to help them out of their troubles.

All vehemence is weak; quiet, clear decision is strong; and the child not only feels the strength of the quiet, decisive action, but he feels the help from his mother's quiet atmosphere which comes with it. If all parents realized fully that the work they do for their children should be done in themselves first, there would soon be a new and wonderful influence perceptible all about us."

--Annie Payson Call, The Freedom of Life

picture from


Domestic Accident said...

Oh, my. That's a lesson I definitely need to learn. That directly speaks to me!

The mom, the robot, and the dancer said...

exactly what I needed to hear. I've been sleep deprived because of the incredible olympics, and much less patient with the kids too. beautiful lesson to remember. thanks!

laurel said...

I will definitely be chewing on this for a loooong time. Lots to ponder here. Thanks for sharing it.

debbie bailey said...

That is SOOOOO true! I learned that about half way through raising our first four children. I'm glad I know it now for our last one. I'm a much better mother now that I don't get up in arms over their antics and foolishness. A quiet spirit goes a long way towards having a peaceful household, plus we're setting a Godly example for our children to follow.

Hilty Sprouts! said...

I want this so much but how? I find so often that the way I was raised (lots of yelling, screaming, inconsistent boundaries) rears its ugly head and I do and say things I regret with my kids. I've read the books, Love & Logic, The Connected Child, etc. and completely agree with what they say. But when I am faced with my child doing the same naughty thing for the 10th time or giving me attitude, my mind goes blank, I do not, or rarely remember the strategies I so carefully researched and I lose it. I am so discouraged. Any help out there on the "how"? I have the "head knowlege" but can't seem to implement. I sometimes feel doomed by the nature/nurture I received. I live with constant guilt. Not to mention that my daughter has attachment disorder. Puts a whole new spin on things.
Sorry this is so long. It's been a long day.

SuzyQ said...

This really speaks volumes for me.
Thank you so mcuch for sharing these wonderful and wise words.
I found you through the blog "Holy Experience"
I'm glad I did, you have a beautiful blog :0)

Aimee said...

Hilty Sprouts: I am so sorry for your pain right now...just know too that ALL moms lose their patience and yell once in a while. No mama is perfect. When I am pushed and pushed all day, sometimes I just step outside for a few minutes to breathe deeply, gather my thoughts and pray. I don't do this all the time...sometimes my anger gets the best of me. Make sure you are also taking care of yourself: don't get HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired). Eat well, forgive constantly, call a friend, take a afternoon siesta) Simply taking care of ourselves goes a long way in having more patience.
Also I have learned to apologize to my children consistently when I have blown up...that goes a long way in repairing the relationship.
My last thought is to learn through whatever means how God parents you. When we see and experience how He parents us, we then more easily pass that grace and love and patience to our children. It takes time to get to know God in this way, but truly is life-changing, humbling and precious. Receive His forgiveness to you and know that He loves you completely :) :) :)

Hilty Sprouts! said...

Thanks Aimee for your kind words. I often forget that God deals with me with much more patience and longsuffering than I give to myself. It is good to remember and reflect upon his forgiveness and love for me. I do often apologize to my kids too and that does help. Our lives have been so chaotic and NOT restful recently so it has been hard. We moved a few months ago, hubby had jaw surgery last month, daughter had an MRI to look at her heart (long story) I just started back to work, and my daughter started Kindergarten with all of her attachment and anxiety issues at full throttle. I have often let myself become HALT (that is a really good point, so true).

Thanks again for your help.